Choosing the correct gear for your next adventure on the slopes could be the deciding factor as to whether you enjoy your trip or not. The last thing you want is for your hands to get cold and wet which could reduce your time on the slopes, or even worse lead to conditions such as frostbite.
There is a few factors you should considers when purchasing a pair of snowboard gloves or mittens. The waterproof rating, fit, materials, extra features and durability. We have talked about each consideration in more depth towards the end of the article.
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Mittens vs. Gloves and Other Design Considerations
One of the main decisions you'll have to make when trying to choose the best snowboarding gloves for your next advenrure on the snow is whether you'll be buying a pair of mittens or a pair of gloves.
Regular gloves will give you more dexterity and more control. They will also make adjusting your boots and bindings much easier without having to take your gloves off. Although mittens don't offer much movement and dexterity in your hands, they are considered much warmer than traditional gloves as your fingers can 'huddle' together.
Even though mittens don't offer the same dexterity, there is still a lot of pro level snowboarders who use them as they find they offer more comfort. And unlike skiing, snowboarding doesn't require poles, so the dexterity isn't a big issue for snowboarders.
Double Layer Gloves vs. Single Layer Gloves
Double layer gloves usually have a removeable lining on the inside which canbe useful for snowboarding in a range of termperatures. If the weather is warmer than you can remove the shell so your hands don't overheat. If you anticipate snowboarding in really cold temperatures then we would definitely reccomend getting yourself a thick pair of double layer gloves.
Under the Cuff Gloves vs. Gauntlet Gloves
Gaunlet style gloves include an extended piece of fabric which tightly fits around your wrist. The purpose of the gaunlet section is to prevent any snow, water or wind into the glove which should increase the overall warmth of your hands. If you are a beginner and tend to be more prone to falling over on the slopes then a gaunlet style glove might be perfect for you.
Bare in mind that a lot of jackets also include a similar tight fitting sleeve on the wrist so you may not need one on your gloves as well.
What to Look for in the Best Snowboarding Gloves
Here are some of the glove components to keep your eye on when shopping for ski gloves:
- Waterproof Rating: Whilst out on the slopes it's best to be prepared for everything you might encounter on any given day, whether that's heavy snow, rain, wind and extremly icy conidtions. So it's best to double check the waterproof rating of your gloves to ensure they're up to the task. The last thing you want is for your hands to get wet and cold which could stop your time on the slopes or even worse lead to frostbite.
- Shell Materials: Almost all of the best snowboarding gloves you look at are produced from two main materials; synthetic materials and natural leather (usually goat or cow). Natural leather is used as it is naturally water resistant and has insulating properties. You also may come across gloves which are constructed from both materials e.g. a synthetic shell with a leather palm is a popular choice. Synthetic materials come in a wide rang of choices and a wide range of prices.
- Palm Materials: Leather palms (usually goatskin) is the main material of choice utilized by most snowboarding professionals as it is very water resistant, lasts a long time and gives the rider great dexterity. However please note that it does have to be treated from time to time with wax to remain water resistant.
- Durability: Leather materials are considered the most durable as long as it is taken good care of with waterproofing wax and cleaning them regularly. But they tend to be more expensive than their synthetic counterparts. If you don't go snowboarding that often then you might find it mroe cost effective to get a synthetic pair of snowboarding gloves.
- Fit: Everyones hand fit differently and come in many shapes and sizes. I would always reccomend thouroughly checking the manufactures sizing charts and measuring your own hands to ensure that the pair you buy will fit.
- Other Features: Other features that will improve your time out on the slopes and many that you will find on the snowboaring gloves we've mentioned in this article are things like zippered pockets, articulated fingers, gaunlet cuffs and wrist loops. If you want to operate your smartphone whilst on the slopes without removing your gloves then you can choose a pair of snowboaring gloves which have touch screen sensitive thumbs and fingers.
- Heated. Occasionaly you may come across a pair of the best snowboarding gloves which have a built in battery heater. Whilst this may seem fancy, a good pair of insulated gloves should keep your hands warm without the need for this. Alternatively, many gloves have pocket for you to insert a hand warmer.
Finding the perfect set of snowboarding gloves for your next trip on the slopes shouldn't be a difficult task, just look out for the main features we have mentioned in this article and you should be fine. Alternatively, all of the gloves we have mentioned above are a perfect choice for most people and will definitely keep your hands warm whilst in cold weather.